With working as a strategic consultant for large infrastructure enterprises globally for more than 15 years, Petra Dahm has a longterm and profound experience with innovation processes and the implementation of complex digitalisation projects.
2019 she joined the founding group of Extended Reality Bavaria e.V. as a board member with the aim to foster the Bavarian XR community in general and above that create two special interest groups with Medical XR and WomenInXR connecting with national and global networks. With her current Start-Up StellDirVor with HQ in Munich, she’s consulting healthcare, nursing and social organisations in their digitalisation strategy. In co-operation with international partners, the company is offering innovative XR solutions for the motivation, education and on-job-training of nurses as well as for the digitalisation of internal and external processes in the healthcare sector.
- How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Our Start-Up StellDirVor GmbH is based upon two personal experiences. One is back in 2015 when I first experienced an immersive training project in Cambodia concentrating on removing landmines in VR (Oculus Beta) that immediately got me. The other one is reflecting my daily visits in an oncology hospital in the same year where I identified “live” multiple procedural and collaboration problems that could clearly be solved through improving digital competencies and a better (immersive) training. Combining these two experiences the idea to support nursing training programs with immersive methodologies was born.
2. What’s your company’s vision?
StellDirVor’s vision is to create a healthy digitalisation. With a user-centric approach, we utilize digital technologies to humanity‘s best interests – rather than the other way round. Especially in the healthcare industry we see us actively enabling an empathic use of XR – be it a patient, a nurse, medical staff or administrative workers.
3. What is unique about your business?
Our team is fully interdisciplinary, intercultural and intergenerational: it consists of trainers, marketers, technologists, doctors and creatives comprising the special needs of educating our targets groups on immersive technologies and “building” valuable XR training experiences
4. What is your biggest achievement so far?
For us, the biggest achievements are to see our immersive solutions create an actual benefit in the practical use towards all stakeholders (patients, nurses, doctors, employees and organisation). Especially in the challenging times we’re experiencing, small but important steps such as seeing people understanding the possibilities in XR education.
5. How do you see your company in 10 years?
We identified the healthcare market and especially the nursing sector as a growing target market for immersive training programs long before COVID-19 due to demographics and other social and economic parameters. With the current situation and the needed increase for digital technologies in the healthcare market, we see StellDirVor as one of the key players on the European market for immersive healthcare training experiences in VR and AR.
6. What are you like as an employer?
I see myself rather as a coach but an employer. Having more than 25 years of experience in business I am clearly counting on a team but on single power.
7. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the XR industry? How do you deal with them?
As one of the board members of the Extended Reality Bavaria e.V. I have a good insight into the European XR industry that is still on an early adopter level. This level was and is challenging for industries as it includes quick technology changes and developments – both on the hardware and software side – and there is also still a lack of harmonization in terms of many different parts (e.g. interfaces). To overcome these challenges a good collaboration of different players and teams globally is needed to get the whole industry to a senior level as we know it from former developments (e.g. apps/smartphones).
8. How do you handle adversity and doubt?
I am believing in the benefits of technologies where it fits and supports human life. Therefore, I would see myself primarily as an advocate for XR in a “healthy” way. The technology has a lot of power, but we also need to look at critical factors as well (e.g. the use of AI in XR) as well as to properly inform and educate the users. So, what’s needed is a lot of exchange and discussion of interdisciplinary teams to hear and reflect different perspectives.
9. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out in VR/AR, what would it be?
Take the chance exactly now. Now is the time – no matter what.
10. What is one habit you wish you could break?
11. What does creativity mean to you?
I answer with a quote of Einstein: Creativity is intelligence having fun!
12. What book has inspired you the most?
For XR it clearly was the book of Cathy Hackl “Marketing New Realities”
13. What do you do when you’re not at work?
I read, listen to podcasts and have a walk (winter) or be on my SUP (summer) together with my husband and friends.
14. Who do you see as an inspiration in the industry? (Please name up to 3 people from the XR industry)
Cathy Hackl, Dr. Helen Papagiannis, Lars Riedemann